Woman pushes for stricter drunken driving penalties after brother killed in crash

SOUTH EUCLID, OH (WOIO) - The time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the deadliest time of the year for young people across the United States.

For many, school vacations, coupled with more inebriated drivers on the roads, has deadly consequences.

That was the case for Terrell Williams.

The Kent State University student was with friends on June 25, 2016, the day before his birthday. After a day at Cedar Point, the friends headed home. One of them opted to drive, said Melonie Welchans, Terrell's sister.

The other friends did not know the driver had been drinking or taking drugs, she says.

Shortly after midnight, the vehicle left the roadway and crashed into a tree, killing Terrell. He died on June 26, his birthday. He was 24 years old.

Following Terrell's death, his sister began advocating for stricter penalties for drunk and drugged driving, while contributing to panels and meetings for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

"Everybody makes mistakes, but you have to be aware of how those mistakes are going to have devastating effects on other people," said Welchans.

She says it's sometimes difficult to address the groups about her experiences, but she wants to make a positive difference, in her brother's name. She had a banner made of her favorite photos of Terrell, something she brings to every meeting.

"I show them this banner in a effort to have them try to connect to what I'm saying," she said. "I know what I'm doing is a lot of speaking, but I feel like it they see my brother's face, they can connect to the pain I have."

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